Marybeth Hicks

The distance he’s covered through the past four years quite literally cannot be measured, nor can the impact of all those miles on his character. Through grueling heat and frigid cold — and every sunny and rainy day in between — Jimmy put on his running shoes and pounded the pavement, demonstrating that every worthy goal can be achieved through hard work and almost nothing else.

On Sunday, we’ll watch him walk — not run — across the stage to collect his high school diploma, ending a phase in his life marked by challenges and changes. Miles of trials, as Quentin Cassidy would say, along the trial of miles.

Jimmy has countless miles ahead, for as the book says, once a runner … well, you know the rest.

Soon, he’s off to college, where the classes are tougher, the training more tiresome, the races longer, the competition more fierce. All that he has learned about himself will come to bear.

There’s a line in Mr. Parker’s novel that sums up my son: “He ran not for crypto-religious reasons, but to win races, to cover ground fast. Not only to be faster than his fellows, but to be better than himself.”

With grace and grit, determination and the desire to be the best version of himself, Jimmy is becoming the man God is calling him to be.

One mile at a time. Mile after mile after mile.

Marybeth Hicks

Marybeth Hicks is the author of Don't Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid: Confronting the Left's Assault on Our Families, Faith, and Freedom (Regnery Publishers, 2011).